Nausea After Drinking Water – Does Water Make You Feel Sick?

drinking water makes me sick

Did you ever feel sick or tired after drinking a glass of water?

Have you ever thought about why this happens?

Well, there is more than one potential explanation. So in case, you wish to find out more, read on!


Nausea is not painful, though it can be quite unpleasant, and it often is accompanied by an urge to smoke.

The purpose of nausea is to prevent you from repeating anything that caused the distress. The physiology behind it’s not yet been clarified. However, four pathways in our body have been recognized that can create a feeling of nausea or vomiting:

Reasons for Nausea After Drinking Water

nauseous after drinking water

Even finding the reason you are feeling dizzy or just like throwing up right after drinking plain water is similar to making a fatigue diagnosis. There is more than one possible explanation. One thing is for sure: Generally, drinking water should not cause nausea.

With that in mind, the following is a list of reasons that come into question.

1. A Full Stomach

It’s almost too easy, right? A full stomach is the most possible cause of why you’re feeling ill. Especially after you had a rich meal, you ought not to attempt and force water in your stomach on top.

What’s more, your stomach might have problems emptying. Therefore, avoid drinking large amounts of water simultaneously. Give your abdomen time to release fluid into your intestines until you drink another cup. For all other questions, make sure you consult a physician.

2. Bacteria

nausea when drinking water

The second possible yet improbable explanation is that you’re drinking bacteria-contaminated water. You heard right, bacteria are extremely frequent even in water supplies in the U.S. The question is: are there several potentially harmful germs to make your water unsafe to drink?

In the great outdoors, water also close to organic fecal waste may be infected with disease-causing microorganisms. But even if you aren’t on a camping trip, chances are that you get in touch with waterborne pathogens in your home or public.

Let’s take giardia, for instance, a parasite that colonizes in the small intestines. Giardiasis is the most frequently diagnosed disease caused by intestinal parasites in our nation. Though, symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, usually first occur 1-3 weeks after exposure instead of immediately afterward.

Another parasite that can trigger nausea among other symptoms like abdominal cramping is cryptosporidium. Symptoms persist anywhere between a few days to 2 weeks. If your nausea eases off over a few hours, that is probably a great sign.

By the way, both cryptosporidium and giardia are resistant to contamination used for water disinfection.

The only way for you to discover if you’re dealing with bacterial contamination is through testing. You may either send an immediate sample to an accredited lab or buy a test kit and do the research yourself.

If your water tests positive, consider using the Filtered water filter pitcher to filter your drinking water. It is certified by independent third-party labs to meet NSF requirements for the reduction of cryptosporidium and giardia.

3. Algae Outbreaks

Hot weather, in conjunction with rain and compounds from sewage treatment plants or agricultural runoff, may result in toxic algae blooms in lakes and rivers feeding our municipal water systems. The result: Poisoned drinking water.

Through ingestion or skin contact, short-term exposures have been linked to sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage. And it was discovered that algae outbreaks are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2010, the count of reported outbreaks was 3. In 2017, there were 169.

The only great news is that not all algae outbreaks create toxins.

4. Cadmium & Antimony

Antimony and cadmium are transition metals or metalloids that can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in doses above EPA drinking water limits.

The civil legal limit for antimony is 6 parts per billion (ppb), whereas the suggested health principle defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is 1 ppb.

For cadmium, the maximum level allowed in drinking water is 5 ppb, defined by the enforceable federal standard that defines. Present OEHHA guidelines are 0.04 ppb — that is 125 times lower.

On a side note: As per the EWG Tap Water Heater, the utility with the maximum water cadmium concentration in 2015 was the Garden Acres Mobile Home Park in Calabasas, OK, with an average level of 13.7 ppb. That’s more than double the legal limit. The second rank went to the Crown King Water Company, located in Glendale, AZ, with 8.49 ppb.

For antimony, about 2015 samples obtained in the Quail Valley Water in Tehachapi, CA, included an average of 11.3 ppb, securing the first place. Next came the Hanson Water Department at Hanson, MA, with 9.00 ppb. Congratulations!

5. Pesticides

Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide that may trigger nausea, headaches, and nausea in low dosages. It certainly originates from agriculture as among the chief contributors to the contamination of our drinking water.

In August 2018, the U.S. 9th Circuit court of Appeals ordered that the EPA ban chlorpyrifos 60 days from this date.


Between 2010 and 2015, MTBE, a toxic byproduct of oil refining, was served in the form of polluted tap water to really millions of American citizens. Its foul odor makes the water undrinkable. Fortunately, health guidelines weren’t exceeded.

What’s shocking is that there currently does not even exist a federal drinking water standard.

Another problem with MTBE is that it migrates through groundwater and doesn’t degrade easily. This has led to extensive contamination of groundwater throughout the U.S., even forcing numerous public water suppliers to shut drinking water wells.

Apart from Nausea, MTBE has also been associated with headaches, dizziness, and disorientation. It’s absorbed rapidly by our intestines.

7. Feeling Nauseous From Drinking Contaminated Water

The water you are drinking could be polluted. This is a fairly severe underlying cause that might be making you sick once you drink water from your faucet or from a different source. If you believe there’s a chance you’re drinking contaminated water, be sure to have the water tested if at all possible. If this isn’t possible, talk to other people who’ve been drinking the same water to ascertain whether this is happening to them also. If it’s, there might be a pollutant or germs in the water supply that makes people get ill, and this has to be treated promptly.

8. Feeling Sick From Food, Not Water

You may be feeling nausea from food rather than from the water. While it may look like a no-brainer, ensure that you’re paying attention to what you eat when you are feeling bad, too! For those who have a glass of water and it makes you feel ill, but you have also just had a massive greasy or cheesy meal, then odds are right, it is the food rather than the water, making you think that way. For a problem such as this, it can be useful to keep a food journal that will help you see patterns in your ill feelings and determine whether something you are eating makes your stomach upset or your dizziness rather than the water.

9. Feeling Sick From Water Intoxication

If you’re sure it is from water, think about how much water you are drinking daily since this can indicate severe water intoxication. It’s totally possible to consume too much water a day. Water intoxication is a real and hazardous condition that can and often does cause death. Even if you don’t die from it, you will get very sick, and you’re going to need to spend some time at the hospital to get better. This is why it’s a fantastic idea to drink eight glasses of water per day but not to go over this (if you don’t sweat a lot or you are pregnant). Even if you’re an exception to the eight glass guidelines, you still must ensure that you aren’t drinking a lot of water to risk this ailment.

10. Feeling Sick From Chugging Water Too Fast

Chugging water may cause you to feel sick more than sipping it will. Drinking lots of water quickly is a sure way to get that water sloshing around in your gut and make you feel nauseous or dizzy overall. This feeling should pass as the water is digested and treated by your body, but you will feel quite uncomfortable until then. You can cut back on this happening by making sure you take little sips and “nurse” your own water instead of knocking it all back at once. Even though it can be tempting to drink a whole lot of water quickly when you are very hot, it is much safer to do it slowly!

11. Feeling Sick From Drinking Water Too Quickly While Dehydrated

If you were dehydrated and then drink a lot very fast, you might become sick. By way of instance, if you work out hard and do not have enough to drink during your workout, you are likely to get dehydrated. You may want to rush home and chug a big bottle of water right away, but doing so will make you feel dizzy and nauseous for sure. Proceed and rehydrate over time when you have been dehydrated. And try to find some of your hydration from foods rather than getting everything from drinking water. Also –fruits are an excellent source of pure water.

12. Feeling Sick Due To Other Digestive Issues

Some stomach and digestive ailments can cause this issue. If you suffer from digestive ailments or conditions like Crohn’s disease or IBS, you might end up becoming nauseous or dizzy from drinking water. Even if you only have something as simple as heartburn or GERD, there is a chance this sort of illness can cause the issue, too. If you are diagnosed with something like this, chances are good, which is causing the problem. But if you have not yet been diagnosed, you might want to talk to your physician to discover more information about these requirements and help determine if you could have one of these.

It Does Not Need to Be Serious (But It May)

The most possible reason you feel nauseous or dizzy after drinking plain water is that your stomach is too high. This is by no way a critical issue you need to be worried about. Next time, just give your stomach more time to empty before taking another sip.

If that doesn’t help, it is best if you approach a physician. You might also have to think about having your water tested for impurities such as germs or chemicals to rule out potential contamination. If your water tests positive, either use bottled water or use a drinking water filter.


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